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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brewing Software > im an idiot...can somebody explain beersmith or where to find good tutorial?
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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Default im an idiot...can somebody explain beersmith or where to find good tutorial?

Hello
I just bought beersmith and sadly i dont know what im doing..alot of stuff is confusing..Is there a tutorial for dummies out there?


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Old 03-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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Have you looked here http://www.beersmith.com/support/


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Old 03-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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Sadly a lot of it IS confusing. Don't feel alone. I still find the equipment setup to be confusing.

There is some help right on the Beersmith website. I think they have tutorials and I know there are forums, although getting questions answered is somewhat hit or miss.

There are many people on this site who can answer basic questions as well I think.

The newer version has a couple of nice features, but IMO is a little more difficult to understand as far as the UI goes. In essence the procedure is as follows:

Set up your equipment profile (mash tun, boil kettle, etc.)
choose a new recipe
select the style
Start entering ingredients
read the bars underneath to see how the recipe matches the style guidelines

If you have your equipment set up properly you should get a brewsheet that tells how much water to use, etc.

Also, Beersmith is NOT a replacement for knowing how to brew. It's simply a calculator tool and shortcut device. It would be somewhat difficult to understand if you don't already know the terms and methods of brewing.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #4
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So in the equipment setup,how do i figure out mash tun specific heat,lauter tun dead space,brewhouse efficiency,boil off,cooling shrinkage etc? Im using a 10 gallon igloo round cooler with water supply braid ,9 gallon brew pot..how am i supposed to know evaporation rates..should i boil 5 gallons of water for an hour and calculate how much i lose in a hour? anyway thanks
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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You really are not alone. I still get cross-eyed when trying to get certain things done in BeerSmith, and I've been using it for a while. I had a hard time setting up evaporation rates, for example. The equipment setup is not intuitive either as Homercidal mentioned.

But it's still a very powerful and robust piece of code, despite its UI shortcomings.

For evaporation rates, Ray Daniels (in his book Designing Great Beers) recommends using 5% per hour as your base number unless you want to do as you said and perform your own experiment (big breweries cite this as their figure).
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:15 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone ..im assuming that this software will take some practice and intuition.but once i get the equiptment setup proper things will start to come together..thanks again yall
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Yes, some things you will have to enter as you find out what they are for YOUR system. Such as evap rate (may vary some depending on season) and your personal efficiency, etc. Take informed estimates and adjust from there.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:41 PM   #8
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I am fairly new to BeerSmith as well. I took the Pot and Cooler presets and worked from there. I would estimate your boil off at 1 gallon/hour. The tun deadspace is easy to measure(fill with water and drain then measure how much is left in the tun). The thing is you have keep adjusting your profiles for the first few batches before you get it right.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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awesome thanks alot..cheers
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
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No, you're not an idiot, or no more than the rest of us. It's a great program, but it's confusing at times, and I think the help/support forum can be just as frustrating.


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